Reichssportfeld

For the Olympic Games which took place in Berlin in 1936, the area now called 'Reichsportfeld' was recreated essentially in its present form. The German stadium was largely demolished and replaced by the Olympiastadion, while the Sportforum was supplemented by further buildings. Architecturally, the Olympiastadion in Berlin, with its clear, geometric basic forms, was based on ancient buildings. The architect Werner March had for the essential areas of the Reichsportfeldes Greek equivalents of the Olympic Games. The stadium of 1936 was partially executed as a ground stadium, with only the upper ring covered with Frankish muschel limestone protruding above the ground level, which is why its outward effect was not as overpowering as, for example, the congress hall no longer extant at the Reichsparteitagsagents in Nuremberg. Architect March closely followed Hitler's plans for planning on the 1936 Reichsportfeld. In this Olympia building ensemble the essential dramaturgical moments of the gigantomanic plans of the later period are to be found, as later in the Nuremberg Reichsparteitagsgelände and in the plans for the transformation of Berlin into a "world capital city Germania": urban orientation in axes, pathetic antiquating work incarnation of modern Building constructions, targeted installation of architectural sculptural Nazi sculptures, marching possibilities for the human masses, guide tribes and civil architecture.  The Olympic construction project became the first of Hitler's large-scale projects. Extending existing planning led to an increase in expenditures from the originally calculated 5.5 million to 42 million reichsmarks (roughly 176 million euros today). With the Olympic Games in Germany he wanted to show the world that the German Reich under his leadership was primarily a peaceful, social and economically developing country. In addition to the possibility of deceiving foreign countries about the true nature of the National Socialist regime by means of the organization of the Olympics in 1936, the opportunity to counteract the economic misery in the Reich with various construction measures reduced the number of unemployed and thus the popularity Of his government, was another motive for Hitler's ambitions. He explained his decision for the extensive construction project of the Reichsportfeld: 
"If you have four million unemployed, you have to work." 
- Adolf Hitler: quoted in Lewald's notes
However, the direct impact on the number of employees remained low. At the time of the construction of the Olympic facilities in Berlin, no more than 2000 construction assistants were used, ie unskilled forces - which could only be used initially for earthworks.
Olympic Stadium
Left: Rare colour footage of the Games of 1936
Right: In this video introduction to the Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936, American Jewish athlete Marty Glickman, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield, exhibition curator Susan Bachrach, and German Jewish athlete Gretel Bergmann reflect and remember the 1936 Olympic Games as more than history.
The regime made the most concerted effort to shield visitors from vulgar expressions of anti-Semitism during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. The display cases erected at bus stops and newsstands for the rabidly racist tabloid, Der Stürmer, were dismantled; banners advising that Jews were not welcome were removed from city entrances. However, while these measures acted as an elaborate smokescreen for the Nazis’ true ethnic hatreds, the Olympics themselves were otherwise about putting Nazi Germany on display for the world to see. The touristic event of the Third Reich was also a Nazi event, one that celebrated Nazism even as it camouflaged its most sinister side. The promotional material about the Games that was sent abroad was certainly never free of swastikas. In foreign advertisements, Hitler himself appeared alongside the Olympic bell, both of them summoning ‘the youth of the world’ to Berlin. 
The 1936 Games represented a triumph of National Socialist propaganda. They created an extremely favourable impression of the new Germany for most foreign visitors and thereby blinded the majority to the regime’s real ambitions. ‘Almost no one escaped the impression that the new Germans were working hard, were playing hard, were at peace, and would stay that way,’ one historian rightly concludes. Even some Jewish Germans were misled. ‘For me,’ reminisced historian Peter Gay, ‘the most formidable adventure of the year, breathlessly anticipated and just as breathlessly enjoyed, were the Olympic Games. The atmosphere was electric and contagious. ... It took me some years to recognize the political side of this bracing event. The Olympic Games had been staged by the regime with an eye to world opinion.’ In turn, the overwhelmingly positive impressions gained by foreigners also had an effect on non-Jewish Germans. The unabashed foreign enthusiasm of the Olympics and Germany as whole became a further endorsement of ‘their’ system of government. 
The Olympiastadion was one of the few buildings that survived not just in a recognizable form, but almost untouched after the Second World War. It only suffered the impact of machine gun shots. The most significant battle around the Olympiastadion was in April 1945 when the Soviet army fought to capture it. This was during the great final battle of the Second World War in Europe, with the total invasion of Berlin as the Allies' target.
Werner and Walter March's 1936 plan

The illustration on the right by Georg Fritz is from the book Strassen und Bauten Adolf Hitlers published by the German Labour Front in 1939.
The Olympic stadium as it appeared during the 1936 Olympics with the Hindenburg flying low and today. Nine months before its fiery demise, the Hindenburg took part in the most spectacular propaganda exercise ever staged by the Nazis. This was the Berlin Olympic Games, held during the first half of August 1936. On the rainy opening day the airship was cheered to an echo as it cruised over the city and the nearby athletics stadium trailing a giant Olympic banner, Its five linked rings, the multicoloured insignia of international unity, contrasted starkly with the black swastikas, emblems of aggressive nationalism, emblazoned on the airship's tail fins. Yet this juxtaposition, multiplied a million-fold in the forest of flags on the ground, reflected the paradoxical nature of the eleventh Olympiad. It also suggested, to those with eyes to see, the barefaced duplicity of Nazism. The Games, though revived in 1896 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin to propagate the Prussian style of physical education and the English tradition of schoolboy sports, had long been consecrated to ideals of global harmony. It was for this reason that Hitler had previously denounced them as "an invention of Jews and Freemasons". Once in power, though, the Führer saw the Olympics as "a splendid chance of enhancing our prestige abroad" Mounted with appropriate pageantry, they could be a brilliant advertisement for the Nazi State and the Nordic race. At least part of this plan was thwarted by the prowess of a young black American athlete, Jesse Owens, who for a while stole the spotlight. "The bright glow of romance," said his home-town newspaper, "hovers over such a feat." However, the Olympiad did realise much of the Führer's fell purpose. According to the French Ambassador to Berlin, André François-Poncet, it was "a great moment, a climax of sorts, if not the apotheosis of Hitler and his Third Reich". Certainly preparations for the event were made on a "Wagnerian scale", The Führer personally authorised the construction of a new stadium, at the Grunewald race-course, to hold more than 100,000 people. At his insistence glass and concrete were shunned in favour of Franconian limestone, Saxon porphyry, Württemberg travertine, basalt from the Eifel, dolomite from Anröchte, granite and marble from Silesia - Hitler's concentration camps were often strategically situated near quarries. The complex surrounding this vast crucible was equally extravagant: the spacious assembly area known as the May Field; the swimming pool flanked by steeply rising stands; the fine gymnastic amphitheatre; the slender 243-foot tower for the 16-ton Olympic bell inscribed with Schiller's line, "I summon the youth of the world." 
 In front of the stadium; the clock on the left tower remains, 
but the sun-style swastika has been removed.
Monuments to international sport, the Olympic edifices were also a potent and uncompromising expression of Nazism. The same was true of the Olympic village at Döberitz. A signal improvement on the accommodation pioneered for the Los Angeles Games of 1932, it included 160 tile-roofed bungalows  nestling amid woods and lakes in a landscape specially sprayed to get rid of the mosquitoes. Here the male athletes were both housed and pampered. Their hosts catered for national tastes in sleeping as well as eating, providing mattresses for Americans, duvets for Swiss, tatami mats for Japanese. But, built by army engineers, the village had a double purpose: after the Games it became an infantry training centre. Berlin itself, as the American novelist Thomas Wolfe observed, was "transformed into a kind of annex" to the Olympic stadium. Prior to this metamorphosis the capital had been drab and pinched, full of dilapidated buildings, rundown enterprises and dingy shops besieged by food queues. It was so depressed that even New York seemed buoyant by comparison, as a Berliner enthralled by Times Square observed: The dazzling display of flickering advertisements, figures and names, Hashing and disappearing in uninterrupted glitter, was bewildering - like a mirage, a fairy-tale of plenty. Poor old Europe - fortunate America! The difference between the old and the New World seems symbolised in this mélange of colour and light. Now Berlin sought to outshine New York. It was cleaned, primped, painted, polished and swathed in miles of banners and bunting. The cosmetic process began along the main routes into the city. Houses facing the railway tracks had uniform window decorations and each mainline station was festooned with 700 square yards of swastika flags and 500 square yards of Olympic flags, as well as 4,200 metres of oakleaf garlands and 50 gigantic wreaths. The streets and squares of Berlin, sprouting green, loudspeakered flagpoles at regular intervals, were tricked out in similar fashion. None was more magnificent than the so-called Via Triumphalis, which led from the Lustgarten through Unter den Linden, beneath the Brandenburg Gate (itself bristling with flags and garlands), along the broad avenues of the Tiergarten to the Olympic stadium. For the benefit of visitors the capital was filled with uniformed interpreters. The legion of prostitutes, which had dwindled since the dissolute days of Weimar, was reinforced by recruits summoned from the provinces. But the city was purged of pickpockets and petty criminals. 
To disprove tales of Nazi censorship, alien journals and books  while Julius Streicher's poisonous newspaper Der Stürmer was nowhere to be seen. Furthermore the President of the International Olympic Committee, Comte Henri de Baillet-Latour, persuaded an angry and reluctant Hitler to take down anti-Semitic signs. Foreigners had been shocked by photographs of the entrance to the Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen which bore a prominent notice, "Jews Forbidden Entry". Abroad consciences were pricked. There was some hostility to British participation in the Games; many feared it would be used to persuade the German people that Hitler's anti-Semitism was "condoned by the world" and "as a chance of Nazi glorification". The Daily Herald made play with a book written by the Nazis' chief athletics coach, Kurt Muench, who acknowledged that "non-political, so-called 'neutral' sportsmen are unthinkable in Hitler's state" and described Jews as a "devilish power in the life of the people". But generally opposition was muted in Britain. The Labour MP Philip Noel-Baker was persuaded by his fellow ex-Olympic athlete Harold Abrahams, himself a Jew, to drop his attack on the Berlin Games in The Times (though he did protest in the  Manchester Guardian) because opinion in Britain was "more pro-Nazi than it has been at any time"  In the United States, however, there was an outspoken campaign to prevent American athletes from competing "under the Swastika”. Its supporters pointed out that German Jews, banned from public swimming pools and sports centres, could neither train nor compete on equal terms. "Despoiled of good-will, sportsmanship and fair-play, the Games can have no meaning except as a prestige-building enterprise for the Nazi regime."

Releasing doves at the opening of the Games- the 1936 Games pioneered this ritual.  
In order to undermine American attempts to boycott the Olympics, the Nazis made small concessions. For example, a few token Jews, including the foil champion Helene Mayer who looked every inch an Aryan, were selected to represent Germany. The "chosen handful”, as the Manchester Guardian put it, were "paraded before foreign eyes, food for the credulous". Yet such gestures were effective. So was Goebbels' charge that transatlantic protests about Nazi antiSemitism were consummate hypocrisy. Athletic apartheid was as prevalent thoughout the United States as other forms of racism, though, according to a smug piece of special pleading in the New York Times, few literate Americans "made a philosophy of the thing”. Instead they practised racial discrimination in "the good, old thick-headed, prejudiced, irrational human fashion". It was doubtless in this fashion  that Avery Brundage, President of the American Olympic Association, allowed himself to be convinced that it was not the Nazis but proponents of the boycott who were trying to use the Games as a political weapon”. He concluded, indeed, that the boycott was part of a vicious Jewish-Communist conspiracy and that the Games must go on (as the parrot phrase had it), to ensure that politics were kept out of sport. Brundage was accused of being "a Jew hater and Jew baiter." Without question he was hopelessly bamboozled by the Nazis. Yet, as the British Ambassador Sir Eric Phipps noted, they would never be able to succeed in their aim of deceiving "everybody all the time".
 Such proleptic horrors were eclipsed by the glittering rituals, many of them invented or elaborated by the Nazis, which led up to the Olympic Games. The most sensational was the torch run. This was a relay of 3,075 athletes, each carrying the "sacred fire"ls one kilometre towards Berlin from the starting point at Olympia in the Peloponnese. Here Nordic  Such Such proleptic horrors were eclipsed by the glittering rituals, many of them invented or elaborated by the Nazis, which led up to the Olympic Games. The most sensational was the torch run. This was a relay of 3,075 athletes, each carrying the "sacred fire"ls one kilometre towards Berlin from the starting point at Olympia in the Peloponnese. Here Nordic immigrants, Nazis maintained, had founded the ancient Greek games. Here, on 20 July 1936, the flame was kindled from the sun's rays by a posse of modern Greek virgins - who were perhaps as synthetic as the ceremony itself. Visiting dignitaries listened to a long message, delivered by a Greek orator, from Baron de Coubertin. He was happily able to discern the outlines of a new Europe emerging from "thick morning mist" and recommended for its guidance "an eternal Hellenism that has not ceased to light the way of centuries".
 Standing in front of the stadium. The clock on the left tower remains, but the sun-style swastika has been removed.
 
My students on our 2013 Berlin trip

My 2017 Bavarian International School cohort and the following year shown when under British occupation control.
As a growing China increasingly becomes emboldened in its attack on basic human rights, its architecture reflects ideas from another totalitarian regime as shown here on Chunxiu Road in Peking where this building with its twin columns and circular building was directly inspired by the Berlin stadium. In fact, the Chinese specifically chose Albert Speer Jr. to design the plan for access to the Olympics complex, focusing on the construction of an imposing avenue, which connects the Forbidden City and the National Stadium, aka Bird’s Nest.
“His Beijing axis is reawakening old memories,” declared Die Welt. “Wasn’t there a legendary... north-south axis, planned by the elder Speer for Hitler’s new Berlin? Is his son to copy him or rather outdo him?”“I think it is fascinating that the son of a Nazi is rebuilding Beijing. Chinese people probably don’t know it, but Hitler was actually a great artist and his architectural vision for Berlin immense,” said Mi You, a 24-year-old architecture student.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article2241705.ece
Nazi-era statues, such as Karl Albiker's discus thrower and relay racer, are among the disputed works that are still permitted to surround the stadium. The Olympiastadion was designated to play the final match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup which had been exactly 70 years after the 1936 Summer Olympics. Peter Steinhorst, chief technician on the project, said to the BBC: "Whenever you enter, you will still know this was the site of the 1936 Games. You will pass all the old Nazi sculptures." "The history is there, the totality of the buildings is there. The whole Nazi landscape has not disappeared", added the sports sociologist Günther Gebauer. "There are towers like in a fortress, and people who come will always ask where the Führer sat." Germany's Interior Minister Otto Schily, who attended the opening party, concluded: "The stadium recalls the dark elements present in its creation."
Thorak's Faustkämpfer (Boxer), modelled on Max Schmeling.
Once [Hitler] stayed up until 3:15 A.M. to hear the result of the boxing match in the U.S.A. between Max Schmeling and the Negro Joe Louis; but his champion was defeated, and for days afterward his adjutants grinned as they handed him the dutifully translated telegrams sent by U.S. citizens to the Führer. ‘Herr Adolph Hitler, Berlin, Germany,’ cabled one correspondent from Colorado. ‘How do you feel after tonight’s defeat of Nazi number one pugilist, defeated by Afro-American?’ And another, ‘Our sympathies on the disgraceful showing Herr Max made tonight. Just about as long as you would last if we tied in to Germany.’
Irving (95) Hitler's War
On either side of this entrance are Josef Wackerle's Rosseführer. In his „Deutsche Plastik der Zeit", art historian Kurt Lothar Tank wrote that Wackerle's "men leading horses of the Reich Sport Field a work of art, which in its closed, powerful form ranks them among the very best works in the monumental sculpture up to now".

   SS men relaxing on the south lawn of the stadium during the Games. Although, like other Germans, SA men were under orders to behave politely to all guests irrespective of their race, even Hitler could not stop them from getting drunk in the streets of his Potemkin city. There they bawled: "When the Olympics are past, the Jews will be gassed."
The 1936 Olympic polo competition

Looking out towards the clock tower which once contained the Olympic bell
 The site during Mussolini's 1937 visit. On the right is the clock tower during the marathon.
Underneath it is the Langemarck Hall where plaques commemorating the Eleventh Olympic Games in Berlin, its committee heads, and medal winners are presented. 
   
In the Langemarckhalle during the Games and today



In the Bell tower at the western end of the Reichs Sportfield planted amid the tiers of the Maifeld stands, was the Olympic bell. From its peak could be observed the whole city of Berlin. During the games, it was used as observation post by administrators and police officials, doctors and the media.was the Olympic Bell. On its surface were the Olympic Rings with an eagle, the year 1936, the Brandenburg Gate, the date 1.-16. August and a motto between two swastikas: I call the youth of the world and 11. Olympic Games Berlin - although the games was 10th (Summer) Olympics, but the Games of the XI Olympiad.The Bell Tower was the only part of the Reichssportfeld that was destroyed in the war. The Third Reich used the tower's structure to store archives (such as films). The Soviet troops accidentally set its contents on fire, turning the tower into a makeshift chimney. The structure emerged from the fire severely damaged and weakened.In 1947 British engineers demolished the tower, however reconstructed it faithfully in 1962. The Olympic Bell (which had survived the fire and remained in its place in the tower) fell 77 metres and cracked and has been unable to sound since then. In 1956 the bell was rescued, only in order to be used as a practice target for shooting with anti-tank ammunition. The old bell survives to this day and serves now as a memorial, featuring an half-heartedly de-nazified swastika still...

 Hitler on the Führerbalkon at the 1936 Opening of the Games, and today

The opening ceremony with the Canadian team on the right giving an hearty Hitler salute.


Adolf Hitler at May Day celebrations in Olympic stadium at 1939

Hitler's personal standard

The athlete's dining hall at the Olympic village

Entrance building of the Olympia-Stadion (Olympic stadium) subway station, built for the 1936 Summer Olympics.
 The station then and now

Left: Opening Ceremonies
Right: The prologue to the film Olympia, the 1938 film by Leni Riefenstahl documenting the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin she briefly appears here, uncredited, as the nude dancer). The movie was produced in two parts: Olympia 1. Teil — Fest der Völker (Festival of the People) and Olympia 2. Teil — Fest der Schönheit (Festival of Beauty). It was the first documentary film on the Olympic Games ever made. Many advanced motion picture techniques, which later became industry standards but which were groundbreaking at the time, were employed, including unusual camera angles, smash cuts, extreme close-ups, setting the railway tracks on the stadium to shoot the crowd and the like. The techniques employed are almost universally admired, but the film is controversial due to its political content. Nevertheless, the film appears on many lists of the greatest films of all-time, including Time magazine's "All-Time 100 Movies." Of course there has considerable argument as to whether this film should be considered Nazi propaganda like her earlier Triumph of the Will. Whilst the entire 1936 Olympics has been derided as the "Hitler Olympics" and was unquestionably designed primarily to showcase the accomplishments of the Third Reich, and to this extent any film accurately documenting the proceedings would come off as something of a propaganda film, Riefenstahl's defenders have pointed to her close-up shot of the expression on Hitler's face when Jesse Owens, an African-American, won a gold medal, as showing a tacit dissent from Nazi racial supremacy doctrines. Other non-Aryan winners are featured as well. Noted American film critic Richard Corliss observed in Time that
The matter of Riefenstahl 'the Nazi director' is worth raising so it can be dismissed. [I]n the hallucinatory documentary Triumph of the Will... [she] painted Adolf Hitler as a Wagnerian deity... But that was in 1934–35. In [Olympia] Riefenstahl gave the same heroic treatment to Jesse Owens...
Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne
The Waldbühne (Forest Stage) is an amphitheatre that was designed by German architect Werner March in emulation of a Greek theatre and built between 1934 and 1936 as the Dietrich-Eckart-Bühne, a Nazi Thingplatz, and opened in association with the 1936 Summer Olympics. The theatre was built as part of the Olympic complex on the request of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. March made use of a natural ravine and modelled the theatre on ancient Greek amphitheatres. 
The complex on July 9, 1941.
The so-called Thingspiel celebrations were theatrical events modelled on earlier lay productions and written in great numbers by National Socialist authors after 1933. Again the aspect of monumentality plays a major role. The Dietrich Eckart stage in Berlin held 20,000 spectators, and the event by which it was consecrated, 'The Frankenburger Wurfelspiel', had some 1,200 participants. The architectural model for the Thingspiel was the circular Greek cult theatre, but the stage area was almost always divided into three levels, corresponding to the three stages of the Passion plays of the Middle Ages. These three levels denoted three levels of meaning. The lowest level, the arena, was the entrance field of the common people - the spectators. On the second level stood the worldly powers and sovereigns. On the highest level ruled the 'law': 'The highest level . . . is embodied in seven judges, the power of true might, the voice of the people, and the expression of that which we Germans conceive of as the Fuhrer.'34 The common people constituted the community of the celebration acclaiming the Fuhrer. their integration into the events was attempted by having the cast stream through the ranks of the spectators towards the stage, just as occurred at Nuremberg.  
Simon Taylor
With the intent of showing the kinship between ancient Greek and Germanic culture, the entrance is flanked by two pairs of reliefs by Adolf Wamper: on the left, representing the "Fatherland", two male nudes, one with a sword, the other with a spear, a pairing that was to be used more famously by Arno Breker; and on the right, representing artistic celebration, two female nudes, one with a laurel wreath, the other with a lyre. The arena, the Maifeld field, and the Olympic stadium itself were designed to be used together for large events, and March also provided an indoor arena in the nearby Haus des deutschen Sports that has been regarded as a smaller equivalent of the Dietrich Eckart theatre.  The theatre opened on 2 August 1936, the day after the opening of the games, with the première of Eberhard Wolfgang Möller's Frankenburger Würfelspiel. 20,000 people were in attendance, and the Reich Labour Service supplied 1,200 extras. It was also used for some events of the games, in particular boxing matches. During the Olympics and later, dance and choral movement productions took place there, in addition to operas: during the Olympics and again in 1937 for the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the founding of Berlin, Handel's Hercules; also in 1937, Gluck's Orfeo; and in 1939, a production of Wagner's Rienzi paid for and co-designed by Hitler in association with Benno von Arent.
About a year later Hitler turned to the stage  designer Benno von Arent, known for his sets for opera and operettas,  and had him design new uniforms for diplomats. He was pleased by the  frock coats laden with gold braid. But wits remarked: "They look like  a scene from Die Fledermaus." Arent also designed medals for Hitler;  those too would have looked great on the stage. Thereafter I used to call Arent: "Tinsmith of the Third Reich."
  Vaterländische Feier and Künstlerische Feier in 1935
From a 1942 postcard and today

Haus des Deutschen Sports
The Haus des Deutschen Sports (House of German sports), part of the larger Deutsches Sportforum, is a sporting venue constructed for the 1936 Summer Olympics northeast of the Olympic Stadium when it hosted the fencing events.
The House of German Sports has been built on the Reichssportfeld. It provides accommodation for the executive and its administrative organs. It is surrounded by buildings and grounds where the sporting and athletic life of Berlin manifests itself. Everyone whose duty it is to act in an organising and administrative capacity can watch the games from his office window. He can no longer shut himself off from these realities, but is bound to identify himself with them. Such intimate contact is of very considerable value, and I expect that highly beneficial results will follow from it. The "organising official" must see all that is going on in the sports grounds, but must himself be seen as little as possible. 
Hans von Tschammer und Osten, Reich Sports Leader from Germany Speaks (1938)


The Haus des Deutschen Sports was taken over by British Forces in 1945 and kept as a sports and leisure complex for service personnel until their departure from Berlin in the 1990s. The photo on the right shows it today

 
Situated on a stone pillar near the Haus des Deutschen Sports at the Olympiastadion Complex.


 
Arno Breker's Zehnkämpfer (Decathlete), and Siegerin (Victor).
Georg Kolbe's Ruhende Athlet (Resting Athlete)

Berlin 1939-1945 Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery
The next stop after Olympiastadium at Pichelsberg, takes one to one of two Commonwealth cemeteries in Berlin, the other being the World War I Berlin South-Western Cemetery in Stahnsdorf, Brandenburg. This CWGC was established in 1945 as a central burial ground for aircrew and prisoners of war who were interred in the Berlin area and in East Germany. 
There are also 260 burials from the post-war British Occupation Authorities staff, including my Great-Grandfather to whom I paid my respects before going on to the Olympiastadion.
  •  Dated Malta 1914, he's the tall one in the back with the ciggie in his mouth
    This time in 2013 my students accompanied me
    Of the wartime burials, about 80% are aircrew, killed in action over Germany whilst the remainder are prisoners of war. I have another site dedicated to the CWGCs of Ypres and the Somme at Echoes of War.

History repeating itself
The "Olympic Torch Run", now revered as a seemingly-ancient tradition, was devised by Riefenstahl for these games and this film in conjunction with the German sports official Dr. Carl Diem.
 
Blue-kitted Chinese thugs shoving British police aside in London in order to force the torch through.

Fittingly, the Chinese were actually selling Nazi flags during the Games! I myself Kept the Tibetan flag hidden away in a corner of my classroom in Peking at the same time.
The shameful awarding of the Games to another totalitarian regime that shows outright contempt for the concept of human rights led me to leave Peking during the Games and spent a week outside the Chinese embassy in London (up to Hebden Bridge) doing what none can do anywhere in China- freely demonstrate and express one's view- which so many fought and died to ensure others could.